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LiAngelo Ball was on fire Sunday, scoring 28 points and making six three-pointers, but it wasn’t enough for his team, BC Vytautas, which lost to Nevezis 90-77.
LaMelo Ball also returned to the court after leg and back injuries kept him out of action for the better part of March, though he scored just two points in three minutes of game time.
The older Ball was on fire, however, shooting 9-of-17 from the field and 6-of-8 from three. He also scored 20 points in the first half alone, though he cooled off in the second.
The result comes just two days after Chino Hills—the high school Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball graduated from and where LaMelo left after his sophomore season to play professionally in Lithuania—won its second state title in three years.
LaVar Ball had been critical of Chino Hills head coach Dennis Latimore before pulling LaMelo out of school.
“I’m not dealing with the coach over there,” he told Ramona Shelburne and Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com in October. “I’m not dealing with the administration over there. I don’t want no distractions on Melo. So therefore I’m going to homeschool him and make him the best basketball player ever.
“It’s a new coach and I don’t like him one bit,” the elder Ball added at the time. “[LaMelo]’s on track for UCLA, but he doesn’t have to be dealing with those knuckleheads. I’m not letting them mess with his head anymore. You can put that on the principal and the coach over there.”
Lattimore and Chino Hills had the last laugh, however.
“Everybody doubted us with LaMelo leaving,” Chino Hill’s star player, Ofure Ujadughele, told Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times on March 17. “No one believed in us. We proved them wrong.”
The eldest Ball, meanwhile, went from ripping Lattimore in 2017 to ripping BC Vytautas’ head coach, Virginijus Seskus, a few days ago.
“From Seskus’ training sessions, my boys got worse,” he told BasketNews.lt’s Jonas Miklovas (h/t Josh Martin of USA Today). “That’s why we went to Spain to recharge my boys. Seskus does not pay attention to physical preparation, they don’t run and in general lack a serious attitude towards practice. It’s hard to win, because the coach does not get players ready.”
He added: “I understand why they losing. With this coach’s mindset, we will win nothing. He says we need to preserve players’ legs. No, you have to prepare those legs, train them up. It’s just the wrong attitude.”
LaVar Ball may have changed countries this year, but he certainly hasn’t changed his stripes.